Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Travel Stress

I haven't had seizures since December 10th, so Yea, Me!

But . . .

Every time I travel, even to the family reunion in Oregon, I stress. and stress is a major factor in causing my seizures. (Okay, so maybe that one might be cause for more stress, not less)
This last trip to Disneyland was a fun, breezy trip. And I stressed.
My family doesn't like it, but they're used to it. Now they have MP3 players and iPods, so they can shut me out. I also notice that more and more, my family avoids me during the preparation phases.
We all cope in various ways.

However, I am supposed to go on a cruise to the Bahamas with Kathi and Brittanie and we are no where near ready to go. Kathi hasn't even picked up her passport yet, which she had to expedite.

And now I am really stressing out because yesterday, Kathi asked if I would take over planning. She's been pretty sick and doesn't know what to do for a cruise. She assumes I do because I've been on one before. I let Autumn handle all the details then, just like I do whenever I travel with Autumn. Can't do that now.

So here is my to do list for today:

Rent a car because we missed the shuttle dead line
Book a hotel in Miami
Get passport numbers (hoping Kathi has picked hers up and Brittanie finds hers) and register for our cruise

Try not to stress

Hear's hoping modern medicine does it's thing and I have a non-stressful, seizure free, vacation

I don't think the 12 pack of Diet Pepsi is going to be enough today. I am definitely going to need ice cream eventually.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Disneyland and Photograpy Drama

Autumn and I went to Disneyland with Autumn's sister Emily and Emily's husband Jason and their children Ezri and Riker (I think I spelled Riker right). It was Ezri's 4th birthday and we all had a fabulous time.
We spent three days in the park. We saw the fireworks and rode every ride Ezri would go on and managed a few adult rides. Of course, the kids' favorite place was the water park in California Adventure's A Bug's Life garden. I think this was the cleanest Riker got :)
For her birthday, Ezri went to the Princess Lunch and we got her a princess dress. What a blast!
Finally, on Monday, Riker gave up and fell asleep in my lap on a park bench. The kids hadn't slept before 10:00 for two days. That's when we figured we should leave before someone reported us for child abuse. We started home around 3:00. We got back on Tuesday morning at about 5:00 am. Since Ezri is Autumn's niece, I forwarded everything I took on to Emily and Autumn. The trip was a blast and there are many pictures and memories, but Autumn has posted most of those on her blog.
Erin has been trying to teach herself how to take a good photograph. So Saturday we went on an expedition with all three kids so Erin could practice. She also figured it was time to get one of them all together that looked nice.
This is what we learned. It is impossible to get a 6 month old, a three year old and a seven year old to look at the camera and smile at the same time.

Sam learned that boys can go to the bathroom outside.

So it was a big day all around. We all started out happy but after a lot of patience, the kids had it. The last pictures are a pretty accurate summation of how they all felt. Sam was more interested in dirt and making faces. Holly wanted to explore. And Max just wanted to be fed. Ironically, Holly and Sam are singing "We Are A Happy Family" in the picture where Max is screaming.

These are just my pictures. Erin's are much better. I spent most of the time making sure Sam didn't fall into any water or off of any walls, and holding Max.
In two weeks, I'm off to the Bahamas with Brittanie and Kathi. Then I've got to get back to my classroom and get ready for . . . wait for it . . . Fall. Where did the summer go?

Thursday, June 18, 2009


This is the week for birthdays. Holly turned 7 on the 15th, and Brittanie turned 18 on the 16th. Today is Orion's birthday, but I can't remember how old he is. I think he will be a sophomore. Maybe I'm in denial. My oldest nephew cannot be that old. Then again, Brittanie just graduated and Holly is going into the second grade, so I guess he can. Holy Mackerel.

For her birthday Holly wanted a scooter, so Erin and I took her to pick one out, and Nana and I bought it. This is her looking pretty snazzy. Sam wouldn't just let me take a picture of Holly, but he also wouldn't stop sticking out his tongue. Isn't Max a cutie?!

Every year, I also celebrate "Little Brother's Day" on Holly's birthday. I always felt left out on Erin's birthday when we were little. When you're one of two kids in a house, it's understandable. So when Sam was born, I started the tradition by celebrating "Big Sister's Day" with Holly. The idea is, when someone has a birthday, I don't forget that this is the day their siblings became brothers or sisters. So on Holly's birthday, when everyone celebrates her, I don't forget the boys. And on the boys' birthdays, I get a little something for the others.

Max is too little to care this year. But when I reminded Sam that Holly's birthday was his Little Brother's day he was pretty excited. So Holly got a pink scooter and Sam got (another) Lightning McQueen. Then Erin hung out at my place with the boys and I took Holly to the movies. Sam is pretty excited for his birthday in August. So is Holly.

Now, when I get old and infirm, I know I'll be well taken care of.
I bought their love.

Happy Birthday Everyone!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I have the title for a new folksong. "The Ballad of Modern Technology." I can hear Peter, Paul and Mary tuning up as I type it.

I mentioned that I left my digital camera at my sister's house two months ago. Since I got it back it hasn't worked. Right as the warranty ran out. Granted, Holly stepped on it in January, but really, is there a delayed reaction on these things? I highly doubt it. Since I have a vacation coming up when I will definitely want a camera, I went and got another one. (Anyone want a digital camera that works perfectly except the button to take pictures doesn't work?)

At the same time, My MP3 player keeps telling me that it's full. Even after I reformat it. There is nothing on it, nada. And yet the computer says it's full. A week ago it was only half full. I can still put music on it, but it's like having a car with a gas gauge that doesn't work. How do I know when I really am out of room?

I hate technology.

Growing up, my dad had a lot of different kinds of computers in the basement in various stages of destruction. He built and programmed computers. He was the Bluebeard of computers. I'm sure he made sure his new laptop didn't get a look in the back of the basement to see what was in store if it started giving him trouble.

He hated technology.

Mostly because it's built to breakdown. Like my camera and my MP3 player, technology seems to be built to breakdown if you look at it wrong. If dad was working on the computer at home, we couldn't run the blow dryer at the same time. Which Erin always forgot. And then we'd blow a fuse. and then Dad would blow a fuse. Because there are only so many times you can do that to a computer before it gets cranky. Granted this was 10 years ago in a house that was 100 years old. but you get the picture. Shouldn't computers be more adaptable to old technology . . . like 50 year old circuit breakers? Or fourth grade teachers?

Seriously. There should be a song. Dad really liked Joan Baez . . .

Monday, June 8, 2009


School is out and for me summer is officially here. I realize that it doesn't start until June 21st, but honestly, when I know that I can stay up til one in the morning reading if I want because I can sleep in the next day because there's no work for me, that's summer time. (I fall asleep before 10 more often than not, but the possibility is still there) When I start going crazy looking for things to do, that's summer time. Forget what the calendar says. Set your clocks by my mental state.

I get bored faster than anyone I know, even my own students. I have very few plans this summer. I am going to the Bahamas for a few days in July, but the rest of my summer break is free. And anyone who knows me knows that this is always a problem.

For example, today I am surrounded by books, music, movies, crafts and the Internet. I have nothing to do.

And then I hear my mother's voice, from summers gone by:

"How can you be bored?"
"I don't want to hear that."
"You can always do the dishes."
"Go find your sister."
"Clean your room."
"You haven't read ALL your books"
"Go outside"
"Call Sharlon"
"Why don't you do laundry and I'll watch TV?"
"Go to the library"

Wow. They say that smells bring back the most vivid memories. I disagree. I think it's my mom's voice.
I have this sudden urge to find my sister and make tents in a backyard somewhere.
I absolutely feel guilty about not doing housework.

Love and guilt trips . . . they stay with you forever!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Last Day!

Last year, on this very day, I went to school, cleaned, got all checked out, and then went home at 1:30 and moved furniture across the parking lot to our new apartment. This year, I moved two weeks early and I moved to Taylorsville. But this year, we had help from Autumn's brothers and sister, and her dad, and my brother-in-law Rob. So it went pretty smooth. Smoother than if it was just 3 girls filling boxes and dumping them on the floor and then refilling them. I am now a fan of moving vans and packed boxes.

Today our principal has listed as a "quiet day." He wants us to clean, and get ready for check out. We have to sign in keys and manuals and id badges and pay fines and return missing stuff that you didn't know you had and report damaged textbooks and damaged rooms and do a check out interview. It's a mess. Every year I hate the process. But it always seems to get done.

And my classroom set up is finished! I don't have any work days next year, so I had my kids help me this year and voile! . . . A complete room. We've covered everything with white paper so it won't fade over the summer. We've covered the books so they won't get too dusty. We've wiped down every surface and cleaned out every drawer and closet. We've stacked deskes and chairs and tables. (Seriously, how do you mom's get anything done without at least 23 ten year olds? :) )

So today, in my lesson book, I wrote "clean room" "Watch movie" and "community circle"
What do I do? 4 1/2 hours are stretching out before me like they never have before. A movie will take about half of that.
It is a little scary.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

End of the Year

I truly am sorry for not blogging sooner. I wanted to post pictures of the new place but my camera has been at my sister's since Rob graduated, and the batteries are dead anyway, and the place is still a mess, so the pictures will come later. But we're moved in and almost all unpacked. We moved Erin last week end. Hopefully everyone will stay for a while because we're all tired. Or at least I am.

Plus, it is the last week of school and I am struggling to keep the kids focused on learning. I know. I have to hold back the laughter every time I say that out loud too. It doesn't help that the CRT testing ended a month ago. We had to have almost everything taught before testing started so they could pass the test. The last few weeks have been a steady stream of social studies and novel units.

But this week is a mess. And I am already worn to a frazzle. It is Tuesday morning, and I haven't even left for work yet. But here's the schedule for the week. Maybe you'll get my drift:

Monday - regular schedule
Tuesday - Fourth Grade talent show (usually takes between 2 and 3 hours)
Wednesday - Field Day
Thursday - Awards Assembly
Friday - Quiet Day, for cleaning.

Notice that the afternoons are all open. So we get the kids all crazy and then I have to pull them together and teach math. Again, laughter.

But I imagine it has been this way since school began. I know the last week has always been this crazy. My one consolation is that on Saturday, I begin a VERY long weekend.